Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 18th, Rome at First Sight

Landing in Rome was a bit unexpected. I say that because my flight was supposed to be 9 hours and 15 minutes, but it ended up being only a little more than 8 hours. Don't ask me how the piolot managed that but a little extra time in Rome wasn't so terrible. I got to the Rome airport around 10:30am and was waiting on my luggage until about 11. I was surprised to find out that I didn't even have to go through a customs when I got here, just got a stamp then grabbed my pack and walked out the door. My pack was, as I much suspected, very heavy. So I was glad to run into a girl from New York who was only in Rome for the day and knew that the train station in Rome had a locker you could rent for the day. She and I got on a train at the airport that runs directly to the train station in Rome. There we found the lockers and she went her way and I went mine. I decided to take the Metro (think subway) to the closest free attraction since I will be spending time in Rome later in my travels.

So thanks to the map in my wonderful guide book I was able to get on the Metro heading the correct way to the Spanish Steps and Piazza (plaza). As soon as I got off the Metro I walked into a gelatoria and had my very first taste of delicious gelato. I got a cone with Limone for €2, expensive for how much it was, but I didn't care to find another place at the time. I walked away from the gelatoria and straight onto the Spanish Steps. It was beatiful and FULL of tourists. I did love that there were not only foregin tourists but also Italian tourists. Anyone who wanted to sit and people watch from the steps gathered on the right side (facing it); people watching is big in Italy. After I climbed the steps and took my pictures I saw a tour group headed down a street so I illegally jumped in the back of the group and followed to see where they were going. Lo and behold, it was the Trevi Fountian which I had no a idea was in the vicinity. Thank goodness I was curious. :) I pushed my way through people to get down to the edge of the fountain and threw in my coin thus nailing in my return to Rome, so they say. After the fountain I saw on my map that to the North was another attraction so I walked that way along the Roman roads. I found myself in a plazza that lead to a big park that lead to another park...it was a lot of walking, especially when I made my way back to the Metro. I took the Metro back ot the train station, visiting a grocery store there in the Termini (train station) and that's where I found my juicebox wine and my cheap fruit (I had tried to buy a banana by the plazza but it was €1.5 for ONE banana). I picked up my pack and made my way to my gate so I wouldn't miss my train.

Thank you Fattori for purchasing a 1st class train ticket. I was surround by nice people and had my own seat and a nice man sitting accross from me who helped me put my pack above my seat. My train went from Rome to Verona in about 3 hours and 20 minutes. So when Verona came, I tried to talk to the nice man ot ask him for help to get my pack down. I had my dictionary with me and had looked up all the words I needed. However, it was a horrible attempt and I ended up relying on hand gestures and "per favore?" He understood finally and I understood that my Italian needed some work. :) I barely made my train from Verona to San Bonifacio. Verona's station is very small and there wasn't a board with teh departure gates from it so I ended up showing my ticket to a stranger and saying "Dov'e?" or Where? They pointed down, so I went, found the tiny board, and was the 2nd to last person to jump on the train. **Insert sigh of relief here.** Verona to San Bonifacio was only 20 minutes. When I got there I couldn't find anyone that I recognized from the pictures the Fattoris had sent me. So I walked out side and then noticed I was being hurridly followed. I turned and there was this cute lady who said to me,"You come from United States?" She was Antonio's sister, Olympia. I stayed with Olympia on my first night in Italy. She lives in San Bonifacio above her mother's apartment which is above her family's leather shop. I was supposed to stay with Sarah, Antonio's ex wife, but she had just gotten back from vaction. I didn't care; I was so happy to shower that night and to FINALLY lay down and go to sleep. My bit of jet lag lasted about two days but sleeping in really helped me to readjust.

1 comment:

  1. You are one gutsy girl! To get off a plane in a foreign country and just take off and explore is just so far out of my realm. Sounds like you had a wonderful first day. And all the people you are meeting! I am in awe.